Three Reasons You Aren’t Building Momentum With Your Senior Living Marketing Events – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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Savvy senior living sales and marketing teams have long counted on events to help build their pipeline. Inquiry events build and further relationships with prospective residents and their family members. Continuing education and other networking events allow you to do the same with professional referral sources. But if you are struggling to build momentum with your senior living marketing events, maybe you are making one of these three mistakes:

  1. You aren’t planning far enough ahead. Even you are able to secure a quality speaker with minimal notice, you want to advertise at least a month ahead of time. Unless you already have a following of “regulars” who are on the lookout for your event information, it’s likely to be a tiny audience if your lead time is short.
  2. You assume prospective guests only need to hear about your event once. You know how fast-paced the world is. Don’t assume that one mailer will get the attention of your perfect audience. You want your ideal attendee to get sick of hearing about your event! Do e-blasts. Drop off flyers where your prospective guests congregate. Advertise in newsletters, newspapers as well as on social media. Ask non-competing industry partners to share with their networks. Make sure your guest speaker is engaged in this process as well.
  3. You aren’t ready when they show up. If the room in which your event is to be held is still being set up, your guests notice. They also notice if there isn’t someone from your community on hand to greet them when they arrive. If food is to be served after your speaker presents that’s fine– but at minimum beverage service (coffee, iced tea, water, etc.) should be available when guests arrive. A good rule of thumb is to have your room and refreshments ready at least 30 minutes before start time. And make sure you (or somebody) from your community is able to say hello to those early birds.

If you plan ahead, market the heck out of your event and are bright-eyed and organized when your senior living event guests arrive, you will be on your way to building your senior living event momentum!

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an Education Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

3 Remarks You Want To Hear During Your Next Inquiry Marketing Event – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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Do you host educational events for prospective residents and caregivers as part of your marketing plan?  If so, do you hang out for the actual educational presentation?  If you don’t, you are missing a wonderful opportunity to better understand the needs and desires of your prospective residents and the loved ones who help them make decisions.

In my experience, marketing and sales staff tend to focus on making sure their building looks great, the refreshments are plentiful, and that tours are offered after the speaker wraps up.  While all of this is important, the marketer’s presence during the program may be just as crucial.  Here are three comments recently stated during interactive presentations I’ve given at senior living communities for prospective residents and their adult children:

“I don’t do anything but go to work and take care of my father.  I am so tired and mad at my siblings who do nothing.”

“I’m ready to move.  But my wife said she won’t move so how do I convince her to visit senior living options?”

“I have had a headache almost every day for the last six weeks since my Aunt Sue has been in and out of the hospital.”

Why might a salesperson at a senior living community want to hear these remarks firsthand?  The prospective residents and family members are informally sharing either 1) objections that you need to know exist or 2) that your community may be the solution to the problem they have already articulated!

Don’t you want to be able to follow up with the attendee after the event to explore an objection highlighted during the event?  Wouldn’t it be great if you were able to naturally explain how your community might be the solution to the problem they’ve identified?  Consider this the next time you head back to your office to do paperwork after the speaker intro!

Stay tuned—next week I will be discussing how to get the most out of your events for professional referral sources.

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an Education Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

Which Generations Should You Spend Your Money On?

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75-year old Janet put her house on the market with the intention of eventually moving to assisted living. Miraculously—and unexpectedly–her house sold virtually overnight! Upon the sale, Janet moved in with her daughter Connie and Connie’s husband Jeff as a temporary solution. Immediately Janet and Connie began the search for the right assisted living community.

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I Promise, I Swear, I’ll Never: Reframing “The Promise”

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“I will never…” This is one of the most common phrases family members utter to their aging loved ones.

I will never…put you in a nursing home.
I will never…let strangers take care of you.
I will never…move you out of your home.

Family members take such promises seriously. But it’s important that family members make peace with the fact that they may not be able to keep these promises indefinitely.

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